Nigeria’s premier private University, Igbinedion University, Edo State, has collaborated with the Centre for African American Research Studies (CAARS) to pioneer an initiative focused at repositioning Africa’s tertiary education for global leadership.
The collaboration has birthed a yearly international conference, this year conference was with the theme: “Right placing African Tertiary Educational Institutions for Global Leadership”, held at the Prof. Idris Abubarka Auditorium at the National Universities Commission (NUC) office in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
It was noted that the platform was designed to be an interactive forum for African academics, policymakers, professionals, private sector players and research institutions to discuss ways to develop African education.
The Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University, Prof Lawrence Ezemonye, in his paper titled: Exploiting potentials of tertiary education collaborations for national and regional development, emphasised the need for advanced technology-driven tertiary institutions in Africa, noting that such would raise standard of teaching and learning in line with best global practices.
He stressed that there were abundant opportunities which tertiary institutions in Africa could derive from digitising their operations, and noted that such opportunities would have a trickle-down effects on national and regional developments on the continent.
Ezemonye emphasised the need for a review of existing protocols and conventions, pointing out that each country needed to take into consideration its peculiar environment before approaching others for collaboration as it would prevent factors that may slow down the realisation of goals.
Other speakers at the event included the CAARS Director-General, Dr Nnamdi Nwaodu, chairman of Tertiary Education Committee and TETFund in House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Suleiman Goro, Chief of Army Staff, represented by Major-Gen. L.F. Abdullahi, VC of University of Uyo, Prof Enefiok Essien, SAN, his counterpart of the Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo (FUNAI) in Ebonyi State, Chinedum Nwajiuba, and the representative of University of Fort Hare, Dr D. Mark, among others.
At the three-day conference, speakers agreed that tertiary education remained the engine of development, sharing the opinion that what the society does with tertiary education would be the determinant of its growth.
The participants agreed that the influence of colonial content in Africa’s tertiary education was still strong, observing that African tertiary education was yet to become fully responsive to the needs of the African societies.
If the challenges are not addressed, the participants believed that products tertiary education may turn out as monster capable of destroying same society they were to build. They said a properly regulated continuing education remained vital to the overall development of the tertiary education in Africa.